October 10, 2018

An essay about India’s dramatic differences in fertility rates by region offers a tangential insight into the politics of representation, in the US: The direct effect of such significant changes in population will be on the representation of states in Parliament. In other federal polities such as the United States, methods to decide seats in the federal legislature have often been torturous. In 1787, for example, the US went so far as to institute the odious practice of counting each… Read more

August 27, 2018

All campaigns need to appeal to the voter. There are a lot of dichotomies at play. For example you can ask voters to vote for something or ask them to vote against someone or something. You can articulate a message of what is possible, or a message of what is broken. None of these dichotomies are inherently negative or positive, and most campaigns find some balance between the two. However, there is one fundamental type of difference that does separate… Read more

August 6, 2018

“The swing voter is not red to blue. The swing voter is non voter to voter. That’s our swing voter.” — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, at Netroots Nation “The swing voter is not red to blue. The swing voter is non voter to voter. That’s our swing voter.” – @Ocasio2018 pic.twitter.com/z3XyJ5GUdd— Hamilton Nolan (@hamiltonnolan) August 5, 2018 Read more

August 1, 2018

In an attempt to discredit Medicare for All, a libertarian think-tank analyst (who was part of the Bush Administrations aborted attempt at privatizing Social Security right before the economy melted down) ended up actually making the case for it instead. The LAT Business section summarizes: Taken all together, national health expenditures would total $57.6 trillion through 2031. They’re currently projected to be $59.7 trillion. In other words, Medicare for All would reduce total U.S. spending on healthcare by 3.44%. …… Read more

July 10, 2018

Five male justices appointed by two white male presidents are going to outlaw abortion in America, three women are going to dissent, and we will all be in hell.— Emmy Bengtson (@EmmyA2) July 10, 2018 and both those presidents did not win the popular vote. Read more

July 9, 2018

Elections have consequences. Case in point: today, Donald Trump is likely to appoint a justice to the Supreme Court who is very likely to cast the deciding vote which overturns Roe vs Wade. This article from The Atlantic is a good example of the “conservatives are hypocrites” genre which as usual fails to understand that its all about abortion: It is perhaps an open question whether Trump’s candidacy represents a true change in evangelicals’ DNA or whether it simply revealed… Read more

July 2, 2018

Excellent op-ed in the LA Times about what Jefferson’s famous phrase means in the modern era: Do we believe that Jefferson’s felicitous phrase now, in 2018, has economic implications? Does the self-evident right to pursue happiness entail the right to a living wage? Or affordable healthcare? Does the decline of the middle class mean that our collective happiness as a people is at risk? I think that answering yes to these questions is part of what it means to seek… Read more

April 23, 2018

“As a result, proposals that solely benefit minorities and dissect Americans into “us” and “them” may generate a few short-term concessions when the costs to whites aren’t too high, but they can’t serve as the basis for the kinds of sustained, broad-based political coalitions need to transform America. On the other hand, universal appeals around strategies that help all Americans (schools that teach, jobs that pay, health care for everyone who needs it, a government that helps out after a… Read more

November 30, 2017

Earlier, I wrote about the potential purple majority – the 41% of eligible voters who chose to sat out the election, which allowed the 2016 election to be a measurement of noise, not signal. That would still be a true statement had Hillary Clinton won. That is, fundamentally, a policy argument – the two parties do not offer anything to the Purple voters to persuade them to participate. However, there is also a structural problem in the way our democracy… Read more

October 26, 2017

The House just passed a budget resolution that does two astonishing things: first, it changes reconciliation rules to only require a simple majority instead of the 60-vote threshold in the Senate to overcome a filibuster. Second, it formally states the GOP intention to repeal the state and local tax deduction (SALT) on income taxes. Big news – Budget just passed!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 26, 2017 SALT is unequivocally a middle-class tax benefit: The study, conducted by the Government… Read more

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